News / USA

Manning Testifies in Wikileaks Pre-Trial Hearing

Manning Testifies in Wikileaks Pre-Trial Hearing
Manning Testifies in Wikileaks Pre-Trial Hearing
Luis Ramirez
— U.S. Army private and Iraq War veteran Bradley Manning has testified at a pre-trial hearing, making his first public comments since he was arrested for allegedly leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the Wikileaks website in what some say is the largest leak of secret military information in U.S. history.

To Bradley Manning’s supporters,  gathered on a cold rainy day outside the base where the hearings were under way,  he is a hero.

To U.S. military prosecutors, Manning is a traitor who leaked hundreds of thousands of secret documents and aided the enemy. A conviction could mean a life sentence for the 24-year-old former intelligence analyst.  

Manning is trying to avoid going to trial and has offered to plead guilty to leaking documents to Wikileaks.  

Website founder Julian Assange spoke this week about the Manning case, saying it is the U.S. military that is on trial. 

Manning's lawyers argue he has been abused while in custody. In testimony Thursday, he said that after his arrest he was held in a tiny cell. He described it as a cage where he thought he would die.

Analysts say the argument has boosted public sympathy for Manning and has taken some of the focus away from damage that the leaks may have caused.  

Defense analyst Lawrence Korb says it also has raised an ethical dilemma.

“We’ve never had a thing like this where all the confidential cables have gotten out," Korb noted, "and I think some people are saying you won’t be able to try him rightly because of the way you treated him.  Others say, ‘how can you treat someone like this given who we are and what we’re supposed to stand for.'”

While serving in Iraq, Manning voiced opposition to the war, and the classified materials he leaked pointed to alleged atrocities by U.S. troops.

But it is not clear at this stage how Manning’s leaks - as massive as they were - affected national security.  

The case is raising questions about whether Manning was psychologically fit to be in the army.

Former superiors describe him as an emotionally troubled individual who was confused about his gender and had trouble relating to others.  

For Korb, the case spells a need for reform in the Army’s screening process.

“From 2003 to 2007 when the war, particularly in Iraq, was so unpopular, the army had a very difficult time recruiting people," Korb explained, "so they had to lower their standards and in fact, the army gave 80,000 what they called moral waivers from 2003 to 2007. So, this is a young man who should never have been in the service.”

Pentagon officials have refrained from speaking on the case to avoid prejudicing the outcome.

The trial - if it happens - is expected to begin in about two months.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid